Monday, November 4, 2013

3D Barber Pole

Here's a barber pole I put together this weekend.  I don't know why I did it.  I felt the urge to make a barber pole.

For those interested in the technical aspects:  it was created 100% from scratch in Photoshop CC, starting with basic vector shapes which were then extruded and rendered.  No outside assets were used in the creation of this project.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Should You Work For Free?

Should designers and developers ever work for free?

The short answer is "Not no, but hell no!"

The long answer is "Still mostly no, but there are occasional exceptions."

Have a look at this infograph for some useful tips on when it's OK to work for free.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Link's Hylian Shield from Legend of Zelda

I had a little bit of spare time today so, as usual, I ended up in Photoshop.  Here's the end result.

For those interested in the technical aspects, it was created from scratch, starting with basic vector shapes.  The shapes were then extruded into 3D objects and combined.  Textures were added.  Rendering was done, and finally a little bit of post-process touch-up.

Monday, September 9, 2013


Have you ever done the "select layer, hide all other layers, crop, save for web, step back" dance?  Sure you have.

You know exactly what I'm talking about.  You use one project file to generate multiple images then you have to play musical layers in order to export those images one.... at..... a.... time....

You active your layer, select the content, hide all other layers, then you have to crop it.  Then you have to save for web, and THEN remember to undo/step back in order to recover the content you just cropped out.  That crazy dance has seen it's last days.

Meet Generator.  Generator is a plug-in that's bundled with the newest update to Photoshop CC (version 14.1).  All you have to do to get it running is download the latest update and toggle the feature on in the file menu once you've opened a project.

Generator allows you to export individual layers, yes I said layers, as .jpg, .png, or .gif.  It does it without having to do the silly crop dance, AND ... it does it in (almost) real time.  It creates a new folder in your project's directory, or on the desktop if you haven't designated one yet.  It then begins to fill that folder with whatever files you've directed it to.  In addition to exporting in various formats, you can output the same layer multiple times and in multiple formats.  You can even set the quality level and the size.  It's super easy and hassle free.  This tool might just be my new best friend.

I just did a little test run myself and so far it looks like it works as advertised.  I'll admit, it wasn't an extensive test, but the preliminary results are exciting.  I can see this saving me tons and tons (AND TONS!) of time that I had previously been wasting exporting little bits and pieces of a project.

Do you design UIs?  You need this!  Do you design icon packs?  You need this!  Do you always work in only one layer ever?  You ... OK, you might not need this, but pretty much everyone else does!

The folks over at Blog have already put together a quick tutorial.  It's only a couple of minutes long, so be sure to check it out!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

We've Moved to The Cloud

We've finally made the move to the Adobe Creative Cloud.  The only problem now is ... which one of these wonderful new toys am I going to play with first?  Decisions decisions.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Vectors in Photoshop: Phase 2, Hard Shadows

Here's phase two, with hard shadows applied on top of the base outline.  It's amazing how such a simple addition can add so much life!

Stay tuned.

Vectors in Photoshop: Phase 1, Base Outline

Hey everyone!  We're still (slowly) chipping away at our Vectors-in-Photoshop book. In the spirit of that, I decided to have myself a little fun and start a personal project. This will be 100% vector art, done 100% in Photoshop. It's still very much a WIP, but here's phase one. Stay tuned!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Constraining Text on a Work Path

Hey, everyone!  How's it going today?  In today's tutorial I'll show you how to apply text to a work path so that you can stylize your text into any design you can imagine.  Ever wonder how to get text in that nice spiral?  This will show you how.  Need to know how to get text to fit inside an awkwardly shaped area?  This will show you how.

I hope you enjoy the tutorial.  Let us know what you think!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dungeons and Dragons Charity Event

Just a reminder, folks. The Computer Graphics & Programming department of MSU West Plains, The Book Nook of West Plains, We Make Game of West Plains, and Saberune Design of Gainesville are sponsoring a charity Dungeons and Dragons event Saturday April 13th 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the West Plains Civic center.

If you're in West Plains, MO or can be on the 13th, please come by and help us make a sick child's hospital stay a little less scary. It'll be a ton of fun, and it's for a good cause.

For complete information, find the charity page here on Facebook @ MSU WP Computer Graphics and Programming D&D Charity Event

We appreciate your support and we hope to see you there!

While you're here, check out the commercial I made.  It's my first one!

3D Keyboard Icon (CS6 Version)

Hey, guys, how's it going?  Due to a viewer request, we are re-releasing our 3D Keyboard Key Icon tutorial to be CS6 compliant.

Just to recap, in this tutorial we learn how to use Photoshop's 3D engine to create a simple keyboard key shaped icon.

You'll need the 3D material extension to complete this tutorial.  If you don't have that installed, go ahead and get it now.  If you don't know how, we've got you covered.  Watch the  3D material Preset Extension Tutorial to learn how.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Follower Submission: Captain America Shield

Hey guys!  The weekend is here!  Time to sit back, relax, and do a little Photoshopping.

One of the things I pride myself on is creating tutorials that are interesting to advanced users, yet in-depth enough for new users.  With that in mind, allow me to share with you a submission from Phillip Barnard .  Phillip is new to Photoshop and stumbled upon our 3D Captain America Shield tutorial, and he was kind enough to share his results with us.  Here's the final render:
Phillip Barnard - Captain America Shield

Phillip tells me that this is his very first week using Photoshop.  I think I speak for everyone when I say great job, Phillip!  Keep up the good work!

If you'd like to follow Phillip's progress as he hones his skills, you can click the links above to visit his Facebook page.  If you prefer Twitter, you can find him @BLITZheartthrob .

Thanks, again, for the submission, Phillip.  Job well done.

If you've completed one of our tutorials and would like to share the results, we'd love to see them!  You can send them to us through email or on our Facebook page.  We look forward to seeing them.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

1st Annual Dungeons & Dragons Charity Event

Are you in the West Plains, MO area?  Do you like or have ever been interested in Dungeons & Dragons?  Do you like doing charitable things for children trapped in a boring hospital room?  Well have I got good news for you.

The Computer Graphics and Programming department of Missouri State University - West Plains, along with The Book Nook of West Plains, is sponsoring a charity D&D event.  Proceeds from ticket sales will go to benefit Child's Play.  Child's Play provides games and activities to children in hospitals around the world.  Thanks to their efforts, a sick child's stay in the hospital can be a little less miserable and scary.

Regular ticket prices are only $8.00 and a new set of standard D&D dice are included with your purchase.  If you have your own standard D&D dice, good news!  You get in for only $5.00!
 For more information, visit their Facebook page at  Be sure to pre-register while you're there.

If you'd like to learn more about Child's Play, you can find their site at

 And one last thing: we're trying to break a world record for the most participants in a single D&D match, so yea, one more reason to come out.  You could be part of the moment!

It's open to the public age 13 and up, it'll be a ton of fun, and it's all for a good cause!

If you're in the area or can be on Saturday April, 13th, please stop by the West Plains Civic Center and show your support.

For your viewing pleasure, here's the flyer.  And just to keep this post content-sensitive, the flyer was made by me, (mostly) in Photoshop.

If you have questions, you can leave them in the comments section, or send me a direct message.  Or, you can ask them via the Facebook page.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Photoshop Quick Tip: Marquee Modifiers.

Every tool in Photoshop has a default behavior.  Default is defined as "what this thing does when I left click, drag, and drop." When placing marquees or shapes on the canvas, we can change the default behavior of the tools on the fly by using keyboard shortcuts known as modifiers.  Usually, when we're talking about modifiers, we're talking about the SHIFT, CTRL, and ALT keys (SHIFT, COMMAND, OPTION for Mac), but in reality, they can be any keyboard shortcut.  Here's a few examples: 

 When creating a free form marquee, simply left click on the canvas and drag until the marquee is the size and shape you want.  This is the unmodified default behavior.
 If you would like to preserve symmetry by keeping your marquee at a 1:1 ratio, press and hold the SHIFT key after you start dragging.
 To make your marquee expand out from center, instead of from corner to corner, hold down the ALT key after you start dragging.  Hold down the SHIFT key in addition to the ALT key to maintain symmetry.
Ever start to create a marquee and then decide halfway through the drag that you're not happy with the location?  No problem!  Without releasing your left click, press and hold SPACE to move the marquee around the canvas without changing its shape or size.  Once you're happy with the new location, release the SPACE key and continue with the creation of your marquee.

The same modifiers will behave differently, depending on when you use them.  Notice how in the above examples, you're instructed to only press the modifiers after you've begun to drag?  There's a reason for that.  Pressing the modifiers before clicking causes completely different behavior.

If you already have an existing selection on the screen, you need to decide if you want to replace it with the new selection, add a chunk to it, or remove a chunk from it.  This can all be done with modifiers, as well.  (Note:  this also works with the shapes tools).
  • To replace an existing selection, do nothing.  Create it as instructed above.
  • To add to an existing selection, hold down the SHIFT key before clicking and dragging.  Once you've began dragging, you can then continue to hold SHIFT if you want the addition to remain symmetrical.  If you want it to revert to free form, release SHIFT once you've started dragging.  You can also add ALT into the mix if you want to expand from center.
  • To remove portions from an existing selection without destroying the whole thing, hold down the ALT key before clicking and dragging.   Then, just like above, either press or release SHIFT and ALT in combination to achieve the desired results.

Happy Photoshopping!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

100 Followers on Twitter!

We just hit our first 100 followers on Twitter!  Thanks for the support!  Are you following us on Twitter? No?  Come join the party!  @Saberune

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Photoshop Desk Reference Series Episode 3: Duplication and Replication

Here's our first tutorial of the new year!  Welcome to the 3rd episode of our Photoshop Desk Reference series.  In this tutorial, we take the boring but staple concept of copy and paste to a whole new level and use it to enhance our designs.  First, we'll look at the basics; copying and pasting from one area to another using the marquee tools (even from other text and image editing applications!)  Then I'll show you some of the more interesting capabilities, like copying and pasting transforms.  The results may surprise you.